A Selection of Recent Evaluation and Methods Publications
Winter 2014 
Save the Date: New Directions in Social Experiments
March 11, 2014 | MIT Media Lab | Cambridge, Mass.

Abt Associates is celebrating 50 years of bold thinking in a number of ways this year, including a March 11 panel discussion in Cambridge titled "New Directions in Social Experiments." The panel will focus on the lessons domestic and international evaluators can learn from each other and will feature Dr. Michael Kremer of Harvard University, Dr. Rebecca Maynard of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Abhijit Banerjee of MIT, and Dr. Stephen Bell of Abt Associates.


Invitation to follow.

On Overfitting in Analysis of Symmetrically Predicted Endogenous Subgroups From Randomized Experimental Samples
Laura R. Peck
A Method Note in Three Parts

Using exogenous characteristics to identify endogenous subgroups, the approach discussed in this method note creates symmetric subsets within treatment and control groups, allowing the analysis to take advantage of an experimental design. In order to maintain treatment-control symmetry, however, prior work has posited that it is necessary to use a prediction subsample, separate from the subsample used for impact estimation in order to prevent overfitting from affecting impact estimates. 


This is the final piece in Peck's three-part series of articles that recast earlier work on analyzing ''what works'' as a call to action for evaluators and policy analysts: we can and should do better.

A Random-effects Regression Specification Using a Local Intercept Term and a Global Mean for Forecasting Malarial Prevalance
Ranjit de Alwiss, et al. 

Historically, malaria disease mapping has involved the analysis of disease incidence using a prevalence responsible variable often available as aggregate counts over a geographical region subdivided by administrative boundaries (e.g., districts). Specific district-level prevalence measures however, can be forecasted using autoregressive specifications and spatiotemporal data collections for targeting districts that have higher prevalence rates. In this research, initially, case, as counts, were used as a response variable in a Poisson probability model framework for quantifying datasets of district-level covariates (i.e., meteorological data, densities and distribution of health centers, etc.) sampled from 2006 to 2010 in Uganda. 

The Effectiveness and Precision of Intervention Fidelity Measures in Preschool Intervention Research
Catherine L. Darrow

A quantifiable measure of teachers' intervention fidelity when delivering curriculum-based interventions allows researchers to interpret the effectiveness of the curricula under scrutiny. Fidelity measures, however, must accurately represent the critical components of an intervention to confirm that the intervention was delivered as intended and to provide evidence that the delivered intervention is the source of change in targeted outcomes.

Jacob Klerman
Jacob Klerman Named Editor of Evaluation Review Journal
Abt Principal Associate and Senior Fellow Jacob Klerman has been named Editor of Evaluation ReviewThe journal serves as an interdisciplinary forum for researchers, planners, and policymakers who develop, implement, and utilize studies designed to improve the human condition.

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.  The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.

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